This article is part of a series, highlighting the importance of additive-free and authentic tequila, partnered by PATRÓN. Discover more at The World of PATRÓN.

Quality cocktails and spirits are wonderful on their own, but even the best drinks can reach unexpected new heights when paired with delicious holiday foods. When enjoyed together, the similar flavors on the plate and in the glass are able to elegantly build upon each other, creating intense new combinations, while contrasting elements between bite and sip highlight the essential characteristics we love about each. Similar to PATRÓN tequila, when exceptional ingredients are masterfully combined, they create perfection.

Fans of PATRÓN have long hailed the brand’s classic PATRÓN Silver tequila as their go-to bottle. But in terms of festive food pairings, nothing quite compares to PATRÓN’s aged line, which pairs exquisitely with holiday meals, hors d’oeuvres, and desserts. With a variety of aged expressions, PATRÓN takes things up a notch, offering a wide variety of options for pairing aged tequila with holiday dishes — be it a special festive dinner hosting many guests, or a small intimate holiday gathering.

PATRÓN Reposado

Aged from three to five months in a blend of new and used oak barrels, PATRÓN Reposado gleams light amber in the glass, offering a visible hint of its subtle oak aromas, elegant agave notes, and its lightly floral and vanilla-scented finish.

For the season’s holiday game, mix up a PATRÓN Reposado Perfect Margarita to pair with snacks like roasted nuts, seasoned sourdough pretzels, or even the classic holiday popcorn tubs. The explosions of flavor from the fresh lime in the drink will complement these salty yet delicious snacks while harmonizing with the cocktail’s sweet agave notes.
A PATRÓN Reposado Perfect Margarita can also accompany festive starters such as bacon wrapped scallops, prawn skewers or fresh ceviche, and classic meals like the Feast of Seven Fishes. It pairs well with entrees like grilled sole, and even brings forth unexpected new harmonies from a rich, lemon-cream pasta sauce, with or without seafood. Sipped neat on its own, PATRÓN Reposado pairs beautifully with well-selected sweet snacks like candied walnuts, Jordan almonds, peanut brittle, and baklava.

PATRÓN Añejo

Slightly sweeter and more complex than the Reposado, PATRÓN Añejo has a rich texture, thanks to the over 12 months it spends in combination of French oak, Hungarian oak, and second-fill American whiskey barrels. Deeper amber in color, PATRÓN Añejo offers rich notes of vanilla, raisins, and honey, as well as charismatic flavors of baked agave, along with its caramel-focused, lightly smoky finish.

That light smokiness makes it a pitch-perfect pairing for holiday charcuterie plates and smoked meats. Take a bite of Black Forest ham, Virginia country ham, or smoked trout pâté, and follow it up with a sip of PATRÓN Añejo, served neat. Then compare the different phenolic, smoky notes. It even goes well with vegetarian foods like roasted butternut squash galette, or earthy portobello mushroom and smoked eggplant dishes, which can bring out many of the same combinations, while the fruitiness of smoked plums can echo the drink’s raisiny, honey-like flavors.

Well-made wintry cocktails offer even more options for harmonious pairings. Heighten the light smokiness of the tequila by mixing it with smoked bitters, other smoky spirits, or even lapsang souchang, a smoked tea, which you can turn into a smoked tea simple syrup. Simply stir the brewed (liquid) tea over low heat with sugar in a one-to-one ratio until combined. A PATRÓN Añejo Old Fashioned with smoked tea simple syrup can be an unexpected nightcap, end-of-meal palate cleanser, or a complex pairing for a caramel-forward holiday dessert like crème caramel or sticky toffee pudding.

PATRÓN Extra Añejo

The distillery’s first expression addition to its core range in 25 years, PATRÓN Extra Añejo offers a full-bodied, golden tequila with bold fruity notes and a smooth, rounded sweetness. Aged for over three years in a combination of new and used American, French, and Hungarian oak barrels, PATRÓN Extra Añejo offers aromas of fresh bananas, dried fruits, vanilla, and honey, with overtones of agave and oak.

Those complex, well-aged flavors mean that PATRÓN Extra Añejo works perfectly in seasonal cocktails that are typically made with bourbon or another whiskey. An Old Fashioned is the obvious choice, but for something more obscure, try a Midnight in Manhattan. The tequila-based take on the classic New York cocktail can either pair with a holiday dessert or serve as a sweet finish.

Served neat, it can pair equally well with savory dishes that include fruit, from pistachio-apricot biryani to a Waldorf salad. In a Tequila Collins, the bubbles and lemon in the drink match well with lighter appetizers like grilled shishito peppers, shrimp cocktail, or fresh oysters au naturel. With its strong fruit flavors, consider fruit-forward holiday dessert pairings like holiday pies such as candied pecan, or rich pumpkin or sweet potato, and, of course, apple pie and cobbler.

PATRÓN Sherry Cask Aged Añejo

Tradition meets innovation in PATRÓN Sherry Cask Aged Añejo, an aged tequila that has spent over two years in barrels that had previously held oloroso sherry. Based on the Palomino Fino grape, oloroso is known for its dark, nutty flavors, thanks to years of oxidative conditioning. While sherry-cask finishes are famous in the world of Scotch, they’re rare in high-grade agave spirits, making this expression both a true collectible and a great gift. While the standout role for these flavors is a neat pour, a seasonally appropriate spiced cocktail like Show Your Cards also makes a great showcase.

The aged sherry-cask character gives a wide range of pairing possibilities. With an intense aroma of fresh apricots, prunes, and dates, as well as flavors of pear cider, agave, and walnuts, PATRÓN Sherry Cask Aged Añejo matches swimmingly served neat with rich, fruity desserts like pecan pie, poached pears, Christmas stollen, panettone, or panforte. But don’t overlook its ability to pair with a holiday cheese plate, especially if you include fruity accompaniments like medjool dates, grilled figs, or pear mostarda. The oxidative notes from the aged sherry cask will add complexity to the aroma, while the fruity flavors from the agave add palate depth and harmony when pairing with fine blue cheeses like Stilton and Gorgonzola, or choice hard cheeses like aged Parmigiano Reggiano and Manchego.

So for all your holiday pairings, look no further than the go-to-tequila already on your bar cart. With both its newer and long-beloved expressions, you’ll be hard pressed to find a dish this tequila doesn’t love.

This article is sponsored by PATRÓN.